Thursday, 30 June 2011

Currently Watching: You're Beautiful (Korean Drama Series)

You're Beautiful. Korean series 2009. Yes, I'm pretty late.

It started with a Rabbit. Was walking on the street outside Liang Court (after Meidi-ya supermarket), on the way to the bus stop, just outside that boxing showcase room that looked like it was being dismantled right then, when I saw this cute--really cute--Rabbit with 2 large ears and a cute nose on the back of this girl.

The nose stuck out pink. 

I wasn't reminded of anything, but this rabbit was cute and big. Where the heck did she get something like this? Overseas? I didn't think it was SG. Have never seen it.

That rabbit stayed at the back of my mind. Then strangely 2 nights ago, I was looking at Korea websites and looking for Korean things to import into SG to sell, when saw it.

That rabbit!

From the photos in the descriptions, it seemed this rabbit was in a Korean drama. One of the props.

Comes in different sizes, from key chain to 16cm, 35cm, 55cm.

From the Korea website, I trailed it to Ebay and Taiwan Yahoo. On Ebay, it's being sold by plenty of sellers. Too many sellers selling the same thing. The Ebay listings say "A.N. JELL", "SBS drama", "Pig Rabbit Doll". 

I didn't know what A.N.JELL was.

At Taiwan Yahoo, it's also sold by many sellers. Presumably other sizes are... counterfeit from China. There, it's called  "豬兔子", "韓劇原來是美男啊" (Korean drama called Oh, so it's a beautiful boy/man). 

With that, I tracked it to an online forum where someone asked for the English name of the title (原來是美男啊), which was replied with "You're Beautiful".
Ah ha. 

So, with the English title, it was just a matter of keying that into Google search. And viola!

Started watching Ep 1 at Mysoju. Loading started getting slow from Ep 2. And Ep 4 has problems loading.

So, I started searching for other sites to watch. After a few browsing and watching, I've narrowed down to a few watching sites. If a site is slow, you can switch to the other. Or if a part is missing from a site, you can switch to another.

So, I  started out with Mysoju. It's Ok for Ep 1. Loads fast.

But you can start with You Tube. The videos are clearer and plays faster. But part 2 continuation for this one is missing. So best to start with Mysoju.

Ep 2 can be watched at Mysoju.

Or here:

Ep 3 is wrong at Mysoju.
It should continue with this:

Then continue at You Tube till Ep 4.

Ep 4 is missing from You Tube (removed due to copyright etc..).
So continue here:

Part 2: Note that Tudou can be very slow.

Part 3:


Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:
If I don't look at the legs, what am I supposed to look at (when the cam is zooming it on them like that?)?

Ep 6: What a horrible woman. Just tell her: Touch me again, I will kill you. (show her knife).

Part 2:

(Asianrice part 3 is wrong).
Look at that guy's lips while in the car at the start. Damn those lips. So funny, I laughed. He really knows how to twist those lips. Look at his face. Is that his version of a pout? :)

At this point, here are some thoughts:

As I watched, I realized, A.N.JELL is actually Angel. But the leader of the band clarifies in Ep5 part 2 that it's short for "Archangel".

I think the language would have been better in Japanese. Korean language is not the most pleasing to the ear.

Also, the acting is not as natural as the Taiwanese. (Update: but it gets better from Ep 3 or 4).

The guys and main girl are also not that handsome or pretty. Passable, or good enough to continue watching. It's pretty good overall so far. Funny moments are really funny and this is mainly due to the cute face of the main girl (Go Mi Nam/Gemma) and the devilish/ugly twisting lips of the main guy (band leader).

The band leader is quite convincing as a clean nut and it's funny watching him and his sarcasm. He has a good heart, but won't let it show. Cute man, except for his annoyingly ugly lip twisting when he does it.

Surprisingly, he has a very nice, deep, quite sexy, manly voice. Good for voice acting anime. :)

Too bad his face is too small, his body too lean and small like a woman. Not really handsome or cool. Just Ok.

The other guy Shin Woo is handsome sometimes, but not with the stage make-up that makes his eyes even smaller and his face whiter. Pretty good choice/competition with the band leader for the love of the main girl.

Then of course, people on You Tube have also noticed a mistake in the lip injury. Left and right difference is very obvious. So, I don't know how the Koreans could have made this mistake.

And I learnt that "yes" is "Yeahh" or "Yay" in Korean. Some words like "An Shin" is Chinese and Japanese for "don't worry". "Why" sounds like French "Wee" ("yes").  "Nam Zha" (did Tae Kyung in the car say "Nam Zhai"?) for boy sounds like Cantonese "Nam Chai". Hmm.. so some words never change regardless of these different countries, since their languages are all from the same Chinese root. It's just surprising to hear and know.

Picking up languages in this way is easier and better than going to classes. Trust me. I learnt more from watching anime than the Japanese classes I attended.

I love it when Manager Ma does the little dance of joy in Ep 6 part 3. He's cute.

The series reminds me of Taiwanese S.H.E. actress Ella in 花樣少年少女 (Hana Kimi) where she played a girl disguised as a boy in an all boys' school.

The Korean music is nice and suitable. 

The main girl Go Mi Nam... it's hard to believe she can pass off as a boy: hips too round/plump, butt too rounded and  face too girlishly round. That.. *sighs* unfortunately, is the fat that women tend to put on in those areas. 

Ep 6 
Part 4:

Wahh... so cool Kwang Tae Kyung. I am in respect of him. Now, this is A Man worthy to be loved.

Wahh, her heels so high. I just realized the main boyish girl can walk in high heels!!

Shin Woo is a smart man, on par with Tae Kyung. Just that Shin Woo is quieter and even-tempered, given to brooding, whereas Tae Kyung is more open: what he thinks to do, he'll do; he shows his dislike clearly and openly.
Hahaha... The way Mi Nam buys men's clothes is funny, as she tries to be discreet in front of the mirrors.

Part 5 Just continue at Tudou:
Or here: 
I like Tae Kyung. Decisive, very smart man when he asks Mi Nam that question. Sexy eyes.... He needed the confirmation. I love the bow of his head (a nod but it's like a bow to a princess that says "I will do as you wish"). Ohhh... he's like a knight.
The acting gets better and better as it progresses. Mm... :)

Ep 7:
Or here (but it loads slower than You Tube):

Part 2:

I love the music and song, even though I don't know Korean. Now, I know "sarrang" is love.

Mm. Yes, it's true, you have to know the feeling of love to be able to feel it. Reminds me of my own.

Look at Tae Kyung's  fed up face. Hahahaha...

Goddammit, she's using seductive blackmail. Sexy that such a strong-willed, arrogantly intelligent man is being forced to do her bidding in that room.

Part 3:

Part 4: (Goodness, it's unstoppable. It's 2.45 a.m. and I'm stuck to one part after another):

I have to stop to sleep.

Till now, I still haven't seen the pig rabbit.

[Update 1 July:  Till now, I still haven't seen the pig rabbit.
Last night went to Meidi-ya again and the boxing showroom has really closed down. So that night when it looked dismantled, was the last my bro and I saw of it.]

----- the next night's watching is below (the above links are an accumulation of 3 nights, 2 nights of watching before started posting)-----

Part 4:  I can see her heart hurts as she speaks to Tae Kyung under the moonlight. It hurts. Then the headlights suddenly shine and he sees... Beautifully done, director.

Mi Nam watching sadly at the stars alone at night: She's in love.

Mi Nam watching his clothes hanging in the wind. The poor girl. Those feelings will not go away.

Part 5:

You Tube is missing Ep 8. 
Continue here:

Tae Kyung looks like perpetual bad mood.

Rriight, Manager Ma... with a nose like that, she'll look ugly. Then nobody will like her and her problems will be solved.

HAHAHAA!! Tae Kyung's reaction when he sees her with the nose.

Ahh.. Mysoju is slow...but for Part 1 & 2, no choice. No other sites to watch.
Need to pause and wait for Mysoju to load... -.-  Otherwise, it will be choppy (starts and stops).
Part 2:

Open a few parts at the same time to let the loading go. Put on pause. So by the time you want to watch it, it's loaded. Open part 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Part 2... Oh I love Shin Woo!!! :) The way he discreetly helps her carry that heavy box. Secretly smile some more. So cute.

HAHAAHA!! And cover her ugly sleeping face with a towel some more...

Wahh.. now very difficult to choose between these 2 guys. Shin Woo is better at this point. I really like him here. All along, he's been aside and we didn't get to see the things he did for her. Now it's clear how much he's done. How patient he's been. How long he's waited. 

But, he's been too slow.

I'm smiling and smiling at Tae Kyung's petty childish frustration... then it stops. AHh... it's so hard waiting for that silly Mysoju to load!! 

He loves her but won't admit it. 
He looks so womanly in that outfit... oh heavens.

The part where he tells Mi Nam to come closer but stop at the point of his hand, then he clicks his fingers at her: Bloody Tae Kyung, who does he think he is?!! 

Part 3:

Part 4:
Wow, when Tae Kyung laughs, he looks so different and... handsome.. and cute.. I can't decide whether cute or handsome. He suddenly looks like a young boy...How come his eyes change so much just because his smile fades? My god. He can change just by not smiling. Like a switch. His eyes... so cold, just like that.

He looks so hateful without his laughter. He has such nice teeth and mouth...

Part 5:
Ahh... Mysoju is really not good for going backwards to watch scenes again... it just hangs and plays choppily. 

Tae Kyung is damn cool when he refuses that woman Yoo He Yi. I like his guts despite her threats. He won't do more than what's necessary. 

Wahh.. this woman who is supposed to be his mom... gee, no wonder he's so angry. She's so weird. It's his birthday, the fact that he came because she called... shows he still has respect and regard for her. Yet she... oh, this is so bad. I'm so sorry for Tae Kyung. Look at the hurt in his eyes.

It's very strange now that I think about it... that he has such a man's voice as he speaks his excuse to leave, yet is a boy when he laughs. It's amazing. Hard to reconcile these 2 aspects of him.

Very interesting man/person.

Ep 9: Mysoju doesn't play for 9

Hahaha!! Tae Kyung is a very smart man. :)

----------I continue watching the next night. The below was last night's-------


Part 3:

Part 4:
Hmm... pig rabbit. I thought it had a snout on that girl's backpack?
OHHh.... he's so evil!!! "Now, let's go for surgery"???
Nooo... I'm scared as a stuffed toy.
He's sooo EVIL!!!! >.<

Part 5:

Ep 10:
Oh! The ears can stand!

Part 2:
Only she can control him.
Ahh.. Shin Woo loses here. 

Part 3:

Part 4:
What if one day, all these links were deleted? :(
Hahaha... only he can control her. Hahaha..! Look at her eyes as she panics. She really can act (a good actress). She's adorable here. Poor woman, she can't win Tae Kyung. He's just too ruthless. Also, her love for him has dampened any her own ruthlessness.

He asks Mi Nam to turn off the lights, even when he won't be able to see in the dark. Self sacrifice. I didn't think of it until she said she could now see the stars, but he said he couldn't see a thing.

Tae Kyung: It's frustrating that I can't see you.
So don't go where I can't see you, Go Mi Nam.

Mi Nam: But even though I'm right here right now, you can't see me very well.
(she lifts her hand in front of him and waves slowly.)

Tae Kyung: (Unexpectedly, he accurately grabs her wrist without looking.) I see you.
I see you well enough to know you're there.

Mi Nam: Can you really see me?

Tae Kyung: Yeah. I'm looking at you.
So, when it's dark, stay within this visible distance from me.

Ahh... I love this part with the music in the background. It's a private love dialogue up on the rooftop just like the one between Jane Eyre and Rochester in the garden with the Nightingale. Here, Tae Kyung doesn't seem to realize, he is professing his love for Mi Nam in no uncertain terms.

I feel that to have the love of such a man, is very lucky.

Go Mi Nam is very lucky.

Hmm.. thinking of getting the CD. I like the music. Very nice and soothing. But where to get...

-----------------the next night-------

Ok, here we go. Continue:

Ep 10 part 5 cannot be played on You Tube.
Continue here. It repeats some of part 4 from You Tube. Just forward the tab.
Look at his eyes... of reproach. So angry.

Ep 11

The lights were on when she looked at Tae Kyung. Did nobody see her face before she turned to Shin Woo?
Hmm... they only saw Oppa (Tae Kyung) and they must have thought the girl standing there was a member of the audience also looking at him at the same time. They only noticed her when she went into Shin Woo's arms.

Part 2:
HAHAHA!! Bi Bi noodles twist.
Tae Kyung's butt while he twists to the side is even funnier than Shin Woo!
HAHA!! Jeremy is always prevented from hugging Mi Nam.

Part 3:
HAHAHA!! Mi Nam is adorable. She's so cute, her voice, the sounds she makes.
She's really pig rabbit.

Part 4:
Hahahaha!! She can pout just like him. The pig rabbit is angry.

Part 5:

Ep 12: (this is full episode, although have to put up with the big subs that haven't been done properly. There was actually an earlier episode/part that could be viewed in You Tube, but because of the subs, I listed only another site.).

Or Ep 12 in parts: (till part 5)
She really looks like a young boy when he kisses her...

Mi Nam's chest is not really flat, even from the start. They still bounce.

Hmm.. that Victorian dress is really... out of style... and the make up doesn't suit her. Makes her look too old. Why would Koreans think this is pretty?

Mm... it's getting a little long-winded here.

Ep 13: removed from You Tube for part 1 and 2.
Continue here:
Part 2:
Part 3:
There's a bit of overlap of Mysoju Part 3 in You Tube: 

Hahahaha!! Look at his joy. Turns into a boy again.
She doesn't think much of him, low scores overall, but she likes him totally. How strange is that?!!
Oh heavens... did he really sing that song?? Nice voice.

You Tube Part 4 has been removed.
HAHAHAHA!! Oh my goodness. Overboard... vinegar....

Ahh... I feel so sad for Shin Woo. It's like asking her to throw away his heart.
After all he's been through... his heart is totally shattered. That's the last straw..

Part 5:

Ahh.. thank goodness Ep 14 Part 1 is working on You Tube: (update note: the full version can also be downloaded from the link below under Part 5):

Part 2:

Part 3:
Ah.. inconsiderate Tae Kyung. Sometimes I think, what's so good about him. It's less tiring loving Shin Woo who is gentle and considerate in every way... except lack of opportunity, always out of luck.

Wahh.. such big love seats in Korea?!
What? Free seating some more?!!

Awww... so cute, sleeping together like that...

Wow... what's it like to be kissed by such a man....?

Part 4:

--------------------the next "night" which was actually midnight till 3 a.m. 5 July----

Part 5 is gone from You Tube. Watch it here:
Download from Megaupload Mirror link and it's the full episode.

Ep 15 :

Part 2:
Manager Ma looks like Tweety Bird.
Sad for Shin Woo... what cannot be, cannot be. That Mi Nam, innocent she seems, yet not innocent in her cruelty.

---------------skip a night. The below was watched on 6 July--------

Part 3:

Part 4:
Wahh.. her brother si bei cool....sleeping there at the airport.

Yo... it's kinda creepy with a body like that and a girl's face like that... O.O
It's not possible. His body is like...arcade game man with biceps... and the face is a girl's.
The filming is too obvious.. Yo, director, what are you doing?  Show the body with the face hidden with such obvious biceps and ragged hair like some monster, then cut to just show the girl's face.

Go Mi Nam... A man's height. Wow...

Yoo Hee Yi turned out to really love Tae Kyung much more than expected after all.
That's her only saving grace.

Part 5:

As Shin Woo obvious, the character of Mi Nam's bro seems "a little" different.
To me, he seems... evil? His smile... on and off like that. Scary.
I like the female Mi Nam's white blouse... :) Classy, cool, nice princess puff and long lined sleeves.
Wait a minute... by noticing her dressing, does this mean I'm female-ish too?

Wahh.. this shows how much the guys love her. Going out of their van to look for her without even bothering with a disguise...

Let's see who's going to be the one to find her. I'm guessing Shin Woo, as usual.

Ep 16... Oh no... it's the bad player on Mysoju... won't be able to play.
And there isn't a You Tube link for part 1.

Mm? On Tudou?

Ep 16:

Yeah, right. Like she can see Korean shows on African television.

How to become her bro again when he's so big? So tall?

Hmm.. Mi Nam never told Tae Kyung she was from a convent or that she had given up that path. How did he find out?

Noooo.... where's the rest of Ep 16?!!!!!!!
There isn't any!!

Download it here. Full Ep 16 (takes a while):
Heng can download ahhh.... For a while I panicked...

(Mi Nam totally transforms into this cute Pig-Rabbit when she's around Tae Kyung, totally different from when she's away from him. Pretty amazing, her 2 sides. She's very affected in his presence.).

Or you can watch a little of it here, then need to find the continuation in Files Tube:

[Type "you're beautiful 16" in Files Tube and you get a list to pick. Not knowing that it was only a little of the episode, I watched till it got cut off then ARrrghhh...!! Panic. There weren't any other links with English subs. That's when I started searching for a download and found the Megaupload link above (type "you're beautiful 16 megaupload" in Google).]

If you can understand Chinese and can put up with Tudou, then watch it here:
While waiting for the Megaupload download, I'm watching this Chinese subs one.
Whoaa.. great, nice idea for how Tae Kyung discovers.

Hahaha! Shin Woo, as I guessed, is very smart. He sees things very carefully.

The cute pig-rabbit in the car... :) So CUTE....

Watching the Chinese subs one, I just realized the Chinese title "原來是美男啊" may actually be referring to Minami. Go Mi Nam. Translated, it means "Oh, it's Minami". The female Mi Nam's name is "Mi Nyu" or "美女" (pretty girl).  "美男" (pretty boy) is Mi Nam. The Korean title is "Minami Shineyo". What does Shineyo mean?

His mom told him that it isn't true love if you let the person you love go (if you send the person you love most away, it isn't true love). Shouldn't this apply to Mi Nam as well? She is letting him go.

Incidentally, that little camera Mi Nam uses, is expensive. SGD 100++ Little gadget that costs so much and comes out just a little film card. If the results are what was shown when photos of the guys were taken separately, the color and lighting are really bad.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Now, Here's News

A frog with fangs, a blind snake and a round-headed dolphin are among more than 1,000 new species recently found on the incredible Melanesian island of New Guinea, environment group WWF said.

Scientists made the astounding discoveries, which also included a river shark and dozens of butterflies, on New Guinea at a rate of two a week from 1998 to 2008, WWF said in a new report on the island's natural habitat.

"This report shows that New Guinea's forests and rivers are among the richest and most biodiverse in the world," said WWF's Western Melanesia programme representative, Neil Stronach.

New Guinea -- divided between the Indonesian province of Papua in the west and Papua New Guinea to the east -- has one of the world's least spoilt and most stunning ecosystems.

Its rainforests are the third biggest in the world after the Amazon and the Congo, and, while the island covers just 0.5 per cent of the Earth's landmass, it contains up to eight percent of the world's species, according to WWF.

What was previously known about New Guinea's biodiversity was already breathtaking, such as the world's biggest butterfly -- with a 30-centimetre (12-inch) wingspan -- and giant rats that can grow up to a metre long.

Scientists believe that one square kilometre (247 acres) of the island's lowland rainforest may contain as many as 150 bird species, according to WWF.

The 1,060 species confirmed by scientists as new discoveries between 1998 and 2008 are believed to have only scratched the surface of New Guinea's dazzling ecosystems.

"Such is the extent of New Guinea's biodiversity that new discoveries are commonplace even today," WWF said in its report, titled "Final Frontier: Newly Discovered Species of New Guinea".

One of the most notable finds documented in the WWF report was a round-headed and snub-finned dolphin, which swims in protected, shallow coastal waters near rivers and creek mouths.

Discovered in 2005 in Papua New Guinea, it was the first new dolphin species recorded anywhere in the world in three decades, and is now known to also exist in Australia, WWF said.

Another of the 12 mammals found over the decade was an anteater named in honour of British naturalist Sir David Attenborough, Sir David's Long-beaked Echinda or, scientifically, Zaglossus attenboroughi.

One of the 134 frogs discovered was dubbed Litoria sauroni because its striking red and black spotted eyes reminded scientists of the evil character Sauron in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

Another new frog was notable because of its tiny size -- just one centimetre in length, while one had vampire-like fangs.

Nine snail species, some so colourful as to be almost unrecognisable from the backyard-garden-type variety, were among the 580 new invertebrates discovered.

One of the snails was bright yellow, while another was green and yellow.

Among the other new invertebrates was a brightly coloured apricot crayfish, part of the family of creatures called "yabbies" in Australia and some other parts of the world, which was nine to 12 centimetres long

New fish totalled 71, with a kaleidoscope of colours, including one in the coral reefs of Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea that thrilled scientists with its dazzling blue hue.

WWF said the most extraordinary freshwater discovery was a 2.5-metre-long river shark found in Papua New Guinea that has since also been located in northern Australia.

Of the 43 reptiles discovered, one could claim to be the most innocuous snake in the world -- it was just 12-14 centimetres long, had scales over its eyes so that it could not see, could not bite and had no venom.

But WWF said the excitement of all the new discoveries had been tempered by the fact that, like in the Amazon and Borneo rainforests, human actions were destroying New Guinea's natural habitat at an "alarming rate".

Some of the growing threats it listed were illegal and unsustainable logging, forest conversion for palm oil plantations, mining, road construction and unsustainable fishing.

"These environmental threats are exacerbated by global climate change which is increasing the number of fires within forests and savannas, erosion, and seawater incursion into coastal habitats," WWF said.

Now, why would a frog need vampire fangs?

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Tonight's Dinner: Cream Meat Snapper in Vegetable Soup in 7 Parts

Ok, so I cheated with the vegetable soup. It's powdered, but it's still soup and it's fast.

From time to time, I experiment with dinners because there isn't much choice: food outside is expensive, in too small portions and their menu never changes.

My cooking experiments always change. Never 2 meals the same. Never the same meal twice. Always different, not intentionally, but because I can't seem to make the exact same thing twice (even if it's delicious the first time)!

A guy once asked me to be his chef in the kitchen of his intending-to-open cafe, but ultimately it never happened because his dad took him out of the project. For me, that was Ok because I doubted I could cook the same thing twice. If I can't do that, how can I be a chef? My dishes fluctuate regardless of whether I keep recipes!

It's always been my bro's lament that I can't ever seem to make something delicious the same way the second time. For instance, my Very Nice Dark Chocolate Mousse Dessert. And my Very Powerfully Dark Chocolate Truffle Balls.

Click on the full You Tube videos below for the commentary in the descriptions. The lighting is not well captured by the videocam, unfortunately. But tonight's dinner turned out to be Ok.

I have no idea why part 7's screen capture looks so washed out and oddly pixelated... the video is fine, however.

Toffifee/Toffee Candy

I like this candy that my bro bought one day from Meidi-ya supermarket.
Since then, I've bought it twice. This one's from Giant supermarket (you can bet it's cheaper than Meidi-ya. Can't remember how much each cost though. Around $3.75@Giant, I think.).

So, I thought to do a video on it, so everyone would know it exists and try it if you want.

The video however, turned into: How Not to open a box of Toffifee Candy.

(Incidentally, it seems You Tube's embed function cannot choose colors for the frame/border anymore?).

You Tube description:

My bro and I had to contain our laughter for this one at the end. Once the cam was switched off, I laughed and laughed. It was decided to leave it as it is, rather than re-take, as a tip on How Not To Open A Box Of Toffifee Candy. The one that fell to the floor was dirtied but after washing off the top (the chocolate part came off with the water), I ate it.

The candy kinda got stuck onto the plastic inside due to the heat of our weather. So, the candy was a little soft and sticky. That's why it couldn't be slipped out of its plastic wrapper easily.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Universal Truth (I Ask Heaven)

I hear you, man. I may not understand all the words, but I understand enough to tear up at parts. Why do heartbreak love songs always speak such truth? Is it the same for everyone who has their heart bound and broken by love? How can it be the universal truth?

You were drunk for 10 years. I was drunk for 5. I guess I'm luckier?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

On Yahoo: 5 Regrets People Have On Their Deathbeds

Ms. Bronnie Ware has worked with the dying for many years. She recently detailed the top 5 regrets that people have on their deathbed on her blog. While we are all bound to have some regrets in life, here are the top 5.

1) I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Ware said that this was the most common regret of all. It’s easy to let our dreams slip by due to circumstances or decisions that we’ve made. These choices mark the divide between living a fulfilled life or one that is full of regrets.

It’s important that we aim to achieve at least some of our dreams along the way. We often put off trying for our dreams due to a myriad of reasons. Before we know it, we would have lost our health and therefore, our chance to attain them.

If your dream is to start a business, get to it. If it’s to learn how to dance or try skydiving, book a class. If you want to make music, pick up a guitar.

Don’t put it off any longer.

2) I wish I didn't work so hard.

In between having ends meet and aiming for a luxurious lifestyle, it’s easy to see why we get caught up with our work.

Ware said that this was a common regret of male patients who didn’t manage to spend enough time with their family.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race, but remember to set aside some time for the important things in life. Most importantly, you will have to understand why you do what you do. Is it for your own personal achievement, for family, or for a higher calling?

3)  I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. 

Hands up anyone who has suppressed their feelings in order to avoid potential embarrassment or argument.

Avoiding arguments is good for a harmonious life, but the problem comes when we take it too far. When we blindly follow the opinions of someone more assertive just to avoid arguments, we’re shortchanging ourselves.

While it’s understandable that we use Twitter and blogging to rant about things we are unhappy with, do remember that talking about it face-to-face is always a more sincere option.

So if an issue is major enough, try approaching the person for an honest and frank chat. We’re not saying that the talk will be smooth sailing, but your relationships will emerge stronger and healthier.

4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

It’s easy to lose touch with good friends. A busy lifestyle can take away time from the ones you love. This is where technology comes in.

With services like Facebook, WhatsApp and Yahoo! Messenger, it’s easy to keep tabs on old friends. Talking to friends is so effortless today that we have no reason to let staying in touch with friends take a backseat.

At the end of the day though, nothing beats chatting over a cup of coffee. So always remember to occasionally take things offline and catch up with your friends the old fashioned way.

5) I wish I had let myself be happier

‘Many don't realize until the end that happiness is a choice’, said Ware in her blog post.

This is very true. Happiness is something that we choose for ourselves. Many get upset over the circumstances in their lives.

What they do not realize is that they can choose to face difficulties with a smile.

Take a moment and enjoy life. If difficulties come your way, remember that pain is inevitable but wallowing in misery is always optional.

Choose to be happy.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Idiocracy (Movie Watch)

Well, I sure hope it we don't become like that although the focus on sex kinda reminds me of gay people I've come across in two gay websites.

It would seem gay men think of nothing but sex with other men and how to get quickies, whereas gay women think of nothing except whether the next woman is gay, straight or bi, and furthermore, whether femme, butch or something else.

This movie was brought to my attention while reading the Sept 2010 issue of Discover magazine. Shows what reading a mag like that can do. Influentially educational. That's what all mags should do.

Kathless McAuliffe did a piece on The Incredible Shrinking Brain, with the mind-blowing (or not) report that our brains are actually shrinking through the millennia. And not many people (scientists) know this. Only a "tight-knit circle" of paleontologists are aware and quietly wondering whether and why we are getting dumber.

Now, it's understandable lay people like us aren't aware, but why aren't even the "experts" knowing this? Why the hush hush among the paleontologists? Afraid of crying wolf?

Among the speculation, it was mentioned that it could be something like the Idiocracy theory--the 2006 (2005) Idiocracy movie by Mike Judge. An average Joe Bowers gets picked to be in a top secret hibernation government experiment that went on for longer than expected. When he woke 500 years later, he found he was the smartest person on the entire planet (or USA) that had degenerated to a state of sex, middle fingers and nothing else.

What was this Idiocracy theory movie? I had to find out (proving that I wasn't going to just sit around like an idiot and not check it out).

It turned out to be a very good movie. But according to the factoids, was actually showed minimally (even excluding New York) without publicity because it was prematurely thought to be not good and was sat on for 1 year.


Let's hope again that the world or rather, Humanity, would not degenerate into this sort of slum. It's a sad situation that we might never get out off without a Joe Bower.

I still want to think of us heading towards 24th century Picardian Utopia (if you watch Captain Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek The Next Generation)--where the future and money are finally separate, where people work for the betterment of themselves and humanity, where I wouldn't want my DNA to be taken apart in a transporter and beamed down to wherever and reassembled (in this, I am with McCoy, the doctor from the old Star Trek).

Enjoy watching Idiocracy on Megavideo, although it will stop after about an hour, to say you have exceeded the time limit. Bummer, but it's a pretty clear video (except for the annoying German subs that go across). It's very helpful that the clicked links are crossed out so nicely to remember:

To watch the movie to its completion, you can continue at Tudou where it has 7 parts. After megavideo, start from part 6 at Tudou. Or you could just watch at Tudou, starting from part 1. Let the opening ad countdown, then click on the words that appear on the top left corner to start the movie.

Enjoy and hope it's just a movie.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Pick a Flash Template & Install into Ur Website?

Is it possible?

First, I saw a beautiful, absolutely beautiful FREE flash template at a gallery and wanted to test it in my Blogspot. Wanted to install it, so downloaded the zip file.

However, after unzipping the thing into a new folder, there is no .xml file to upload into the Blogger html uploader.

Checking up in Google, someone said in 2007, that it's impossible to install flash templates unto blogger.

Someone else said (not pertaining to blogger) that it would take a lot of work to change the flash stuff into a different sort of file that can be upped.

Another someone said it's difficult to customize a flash template.

Some other someone said you'd need a host and a domain name...

Now, is it possible to pick a flash template off a gallery and install it direct into a free hosting website? There is no information on this despite scrolling through ... 8 pages of Google search.

There is a video on You Tube, by a British kid, who showed it's possible to create a flash website on Wix and then host it on Webs. But that's not what I'm after.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Korea Shopping Service Konlinehouse/Pinkbox Watertonkorea Review

For those considering using this Korea purchasing service, here is a review.
These 2 websites are the same, under the same person (Ms Park).

I used Konlinehouse twice.

Is the service reliable? 

The first time, the e-mail response was fast. My enquiries were replied quickly and completely with full price quotes. Full price means all charges including EMS airmail fee. This was convenient, and I could pay using Paypal.

Now according to the Konlinehouse website, for their buying service, it says:
We take 20~25% of buying service fee only from items, not total invoice. and no other service fee won't added for shipping service. Item Total amount US$200 less will be applied 25%, Over US$200 will be applied 20%

The price quote I received for the first items were favorable. Doing the calculations, her buying fee was 25% for 9 items that came up to quite an amount (but under US$200).

Payment can be transferred in 2 parts: the first for the items' cost and buying fee. And second for the EMS which can be paid once she receives the items at her end.

The order was placed right after payment. And once she received the items, she would let me know and then tell me if everything is correct before mailing out.

After paying for the EMS, she sent out the items pretty quickly as well, with tracking number.

In a few days, I received the items. Her airmail fee was correctly priced. And the box she used was light and the perfect size that fitted everything in.

A smooth transaction. So, you could say it's reliable and affordable.


Now, she didn't know I run a small buying and re-selling business. Buying through her the first time was fine because everything was according to my calculations.

The second and third time, when I asked for the price quotes, she had increased the buying service fee without informing me. I didn't know this, and wondered why I wasn't making any profit the second time even though I had factored in her fee.

Without knowing, I had paid for the 2nd time, taking her quotation as it were, assuming that it was the same as the first time.

The airmailed package with 3 handbags was excellent, light and just perfect, like the first time.

The 3rd time when I asked for a quote on 2 or 3 items, I still didn't know about the increased buying fee.

She gave me a quote, but due to some changes at my end, I had to take out an item one at a time. Her reply took longer than usual. And subsequently, never replied for a week or more.

Just as I assumed she was not interested in taking in an order of 1 item, she suddenly replied with a quote.

That's when I started looking more carefully at her quote, doing the calculations and realizing that her buying fee had increased to 30%. Surprised by this, I went to check on the calculation for the 2nd time, and realized that the quote at that time, had already increased to 30% without my knowledge.


I felt this was a cheat. If she wanted to increase the buying fee for whatever reason, she should let the buyer know. Why quietly slip it into the quote after the first time? What was the meaning of this?

30% is a lot. 25% is already a lot just for a buying service. I felt she wasn't honest by doing this.

I didn't e-mail her about it, since the first 2 times were already over. The 3rd time, she took so long to reply with a quote that the item was not needed any more. And with her quiet increase of the buying fee, there wasn't any need to continue using her service.

If you notice, there are 3 websites that are the same. One of them explains the "origin" of the "company", and the background of Ms Park who is stated as the "President".

What is odd is the way the "company" has been publicizing itself: more than 1 free blogspot website where it blasts its service in rambling English that doesn't make sense, and in many forums with any discussion on buying from Korea (a "helpful" post would insert itself into a discussion on where to find a Korea shopping or purchasing service).

The way the advertising is done, also looks and sounds very desperate, rather than professional.

James May on the Moon Part 3

Shit, where is part 4 and 5? Why deleted by You Tube and why aren't they up again?!

Blogger is not able to embed this well. So here's the link to it:

Friday, 10 June 2011

Frequent Coffee Drinkers...

Discover magazine Sept 2010 "The Bad News":

Frequent coffee drinkers are no more alert after a dose of caffeine than non-drinkers given a placebo, according to a study from Bristol University in the U.K. Tolerance may blunt the effect of your morning joe.

Beauty Again

The Revolutioner: The issue of how attractiveness affects individuals in this way, is old news that's been reported many times. Here is another:

Discover Magazine Sept 2010 "The Bad News":

Justice is skin-deep.

In a jury-simulation study at Cornell University, unattractive defendants were more likely to be convicted and received sentences 22 months longer than good-looking ones.

Therefore it pays to be attractive.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

How to Stay in a Good Hotel Room for Free

Not sneak in. Not stay with someone who pays.
Nice room, King/Queen bed, lovely bathroom, bathtub. Legit.

Secret revealed for $10. 
Overseas payment: Paypal accepted
Local payment: ATM or i-banking transfer

Only for legit hotel lovers.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

How to Eat @ A Restaurant Or Cafe for Free

Tried & tested.

Secrets revealed for $10. 
Overseas payment: Paypal accepted
Local payment: ATM or i-banking transfer

Only if you are a legit consumer.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

65daigou Goofs Up Again

(Update Wed 22 Jul 2015: Check out my guide on how to pick good Taobao sellers!

Following on "Why it's a bad idea to use 65daigou", this is my 4th time using their "service".

Why still using? Because need to.

Need to purchase several items for someone and there aren't other agents that I know and have used. Isn't much of a choice. This time, I know I'll have to put up with 65daigou again and be prepared for goof ups.

So, this time, when they did goof up, I was resigned to it. I had nothing to say, didn't even say a single word of complaint to the errand boy who goofed up, or to the person handling the website (maybe they are the same person?).

This time, I ordered several items. Everything arrived at their Shanghai warehouse and I hadn't ordered anything else before or after this. There wasn't anything to consolidate so there was no need to wait. Assuming the daigou people knew this, I waited for some notice to say they have airmailed out the items.

Nothing happened to the status of the items for a few days. So, I realized I had to inform them (no surprise) to airmail out.

Point 1: you need to tell them which items you want to ship/airmail out and when. Otherwise, the items will just sit there. To inform them, use the "Enquiries" tab at the top of the website.

The reply came 2~3 days later that the items were airmailed out already, with an estimated date of arrival.

Point 2: replies to enquiries are still slow (even now that they have supposedly returned to normal "efficiency". The replies are usually belated. I had an enquiry that wasn't attended to for weeks. And it was just a simple question of whether they could order from a certain China website. I thought they should be able to, since they take other China website orders, but the reply was that they can't.  So many weeks, just to say they can't.

The items arrived on schedule as they stated. So far so good. What would go wrong? 1) wrong items? 2) collection problem?

Always, when they input the calculation for their fees in my account, I try to do the Maths myself to see if there are any errors. So far, the calculations have been Ok--their counting is perfect when it comes to money.

I selected a collection date and time from their schedule choices and wondered if the items would be collected without a hitch.

When the time came, I could see from afar that something was wrong. There was only a small packet leaning against the wall, with a hard rectangular shape inside, beside the China errand boy who was playing his PSP. He always plays with it while waiting and looks childish. I don't care about that as long as he does the job well. But that is not the case.

That packet did not look like the items I ordered. When I got to him, he picked up the packet and handed it to me. It was knotted and I tried opening it. To his credit, he was nice enough to un-knot it for me and lo and behold, what have we here?

I put in my hand and flipped over a hard base. A handbag. I don't recall the order having a handbag in it.

Turning my hand deeper, I fished out a... something in a small, plastic, transparent wrapper with a sticker name tag attached to it. It wasn't my username. He saw it too.

"It's someone else's.", I said in English, refusing to speak in his language--Chinese. Instead, he had to speak in mine--English.

Daigou uses a white sticker with the username and weight of the item handwritten in blue pen on it. Most likely written by the Shanghai warehouse people before shipping out. So it would be easier for the SG side to sort the items upon arrival, saving them much work. A good system that should work well. But in the hands of ineptitude, even the best system would go wrong. No idea how it could have happened, but someone else's things were brought to the collection instead of mine.

More interesting was:

The errand boy was surprised. He looked at the big white plastic bag with the 65daigou logo on it. My username was stuck on it. So this was mine. Ok.

Then he looked at the item inside the bag that had a different name and he looked genuinely puzzled.

Too much PSP?

I imagined him tossing the items into the Daigou plastic bag without looking while playing.

The MRT station is actually quite inconvenient for me to travel to. I take a bus, then change to train to get there. It takes time and money to be there on time to collect the items.

Not only did he not bring the items, he was going to give me someone else's stuff with my username on it.

I didn't complain about a single thing. The errand boy showed me his clipboard with the usernames for customers to sign and any fees to be paid COD, and asked me to write with the pen he provided. I didn't know what he meant with the clipboard. He repeated for me to write, so I said, "Write what?".

He said, "Your address.".

Oh. So he was going to mail me the items to atone for the mistake. It was Saturday. I asked when was the delivery going to be? Sunday or...? Who is delivering? Are they using Singpost or himself?

He pointed to his white T-shirt with the 65daigou logo, saying himself or they, would deliver "before Tuesday". Will call first before delivering. I said I might not be home. What time? He gave a small smile that said I wasn't listening, and repeated, "We'll call first before we deliver.".

I wasn't pleased with that smile. His mistake and he dares to show annoyance at having to repeat? I heard what he said, but I needed a time.

I didn't ask if it was going to be free (their delivery charge is supposed to be $5 for those who prefer it). Since it was his mistake, of course it would be free, right? It didn't matter if it was or wasn't free. That wasn't the point. If it wasn't free upon delivery, I can simply scold the delivery person and remind him of the mistake.

The point was, whether they would actually deliver the items. It was hard to believe. I had serious doubts about it. It seemed beyond them.

I considered whether to give them my address, which I'd prefer to remain private. "How about I collect again?". I was willing to forfeit more time and money to collect again.

He looked into the distance, computing for a while before he said the earliest collection would be next Thursday.

Hmm... if home delivery, it would be before Tuesday (assuming they could do it). If pick up again at MRT, it would take a few more days. I needed the items as soon as possible, so I agreed to home delivery and wrote my address.

On Sunday, I received and missed a call. Assuming it was about the delivery, I SMSed to ask if it was the Daigou guy, adding that I just returned home and whether they would be delivering the next day. The reply was that they had wanted to deliver just at that time, but they could deliver next day and what time would I be home.

Since he asked what time I would be home, it meant I could give my own timing. I said 10am (feeling it would be a "no" since they were students and would be unable to deliver at at that time).

The reply was: The usual delivery timing is from 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Your area will be around 6.30 to 7.30pm.

Then why didn't he say so in the first place? Why ask what time I would be home?

Reminds me of a woman who wanted to rent out clothes rack. When she asked which MRT I would like to pick up, I told her my preference. Then she said she only do meet ups at a particular MRT station. *shakes head*

Why ask when the thing has already been fixed? It's just stupidity or ridiculous-ness.

With Daigou's timing, it meant I would have to wait for 1 hour. That's just ridiculous. I SMSed him to come on time between 6.30 to 6.45 pm because I will only be home at that time.

He said he would confirm with me "tomorrow" (meaning, the next day, Monday).

The next day, I was out, and waited for his confirmation till 4.15 pm. When there was nothing from him, I SMSed to ask if he would be delivering the items. I was thinking that if he was delivering, I would rush home to receive.

He replied: yes.

Another SMS: between 6.30 to 6.45?

I said: Ok.

Then an hour later, his message came, saying that he's sorry he wouldn't be able to deliver. "65Daigou will arrange another timing with you......thank you....cos the jobs are arranged by 65daigou.".

Odd, isn't it? What has "the jobs are arranged by 65daigou" got to do with the mistake with my items and the fixing of it?

I SMSed the guy who supposedly handles the administration of the website and told him his guy was unable to deliver. That being the case, I thought it's better to arrange for collection again at the MRT. So, could he put back the button option for re-arranging delivery in my account?

He did it. And after I selected the MRT and timing (again), I notified him and told him to tell his guy to bring the items and check that they are correct. He replied "Ok" with a smiley.

I was thinking, of course he had reason to smile. I had not even said a single word of complaint. I had quietly accepted and didn't make a fuss.

Frankly, what can a fuss do? The mistake was no surprise, it happened, no use making a fuss. That's what I get for using the service. Comes with it.

There was no other earlier collection timing or day. I wouldn't mind picking up at another MRT station if there was an earlier slot, but there wasn't. So, on Thursday, I made another trip to the same MRT at peak hour to collect the items.

I had wanted to avoid weekday evening hours because it's the most crowded time. That was why I had selected the collection to be a Saturday morning. But because the errand boy didn't bring the items on Saturday, I had to go again and jam with the Thursday evening crowd just to get the stuff.

I arrived 30 minutes early and waited till near to the time (unable to wait any longer), then SMSed the errand boy to inform him that I had arrived. No reply (no surprise).

Then he arrived with a trolley of boxes to the spot, and customers began gathering near. I hung around, but instead of attending to me first (he recognized me), he gave out stuff to the others first.

That was fine. I just wanted to see how he would respond. How he would make up for his mistake.

Last was me. I saw a big plastic bag inside a box with my username stuck on it. He took it out and apologized for the previous time (so he recognized me). I didn't say anything but was about to open the knot of the plastic bag.

Before this, I had made a note of the items that were supposed to be in there. A written note as well as visual images of the items in mind.

So, first, counting, there were 12 items. Correct.

While counting, I saw they were indeed the correct items.

This time, the advantage was on my side (that they would bother to offer delivery) likely because I hadn't yet paid for their shipping and service fees which came up to quite a lot. After I checked that all were correct, I paid the guy the exact amount.

Tip: Don't be in a hurry to pay the fees electronically. Pay only in cash when you get the items.

Latest update 15 Jan Thurs 2015: